How is this child experiencing me at the moment?
Not all adopted or fostered children have suffered genuine trauma; however, all will have encountered adverse life events and different levels of traumatic experience.
Sometimes there is a mismatch between caregivers deeply held motivation, to provide love and care and the approach taken to help children learn and develop.
Frequently the focus is on how to manage the child’s behaviour.
Traditional strategies that use rewards and punishment are rarely successful with children who have experienced neglect, trauma and loss. Although the child’s behaviour doesn’t make sense at first glance, there is often much to be learned if we slow down and pay close attention to what the behaviour might mean and if caregivers learn to think about “How is this child experiencing me at the moment?!".
I offer an approach that
- Builds on caregivers motivation;
- Educates caregivers about normal development and the impact of trauma/loss and disrupted attachment;
- Encourages caregivers to reflect on their own experiences with a child and how and why that meets or interrupts their personal motivation to care;
- Encourages caregivers to think about what the child is feeling in difficult as well as pleasurable moments;
- Encourages caregivers to add or enhance their skills and strategies, for example active listening;
- Focuses on caring for, being available to and emotionally responsive to children no matter how challenging the circumstances;
- Helps to ‘mind’ the caregiver.
My name is Dr John Gibson (Johnnie).
I have a track record of effective collaborative work with social work colleagues and other professionals and can extend the therapeutic reach with both adoptive parents and foster carers. I am trained in Dyadic Development Psychotherapy(DDP) Level II. I am registered as a DDP Practitioner In Training with DDP UK. DDP is an attachment and trauma informed approach aimed at enriching the quality of attachment and experience of children in their own families and children who become part of other people’s families.